“Last Action Hero” is a time based, site specific installation conceived for Hazira’s stage. Set in a twilight between exhibition and performance, the work proposes a wandering experience through the stage as the theater’s operating systems are taken over.
The work was created following an extensive research into the Phantasmagoria shows of the 18th-19th century. These shows engaged the advanced scientific knowledge of the time and by utilizing mechanisms of drama and illusion created spectacles of necromancy with the goal of inciting fear and panic in the audience.
In this work Sheizaf draws a line between the spectacles of horror from the Age of Enlightenment where ghosts were presented to the spectators by means of optical illusions and theatrical effects of sound and lighting, to the phantoms which haunt us today: virtual doubles, children of the algorithm, which navigate our lives seamlessly. Once, ghosts appeared at night, bursting from the hidden lamp of a magic lantern; today they emerge in daylight from our backlit screens. By setting the work in the theater, Sheizaf confines the specters back in the hypothetical space of the stage and points at the mechanisms of spectacle that loom behind, pulling the strings of horror.